Agent says guards were protecting Yoan Moncada from kidnappers, not agents

John Tomase
February 23, 2015 - 4:30 pm

Florida CPA David Hastings just negotiated by far the largest signing bonus in history for an international free agent, getting Cuban shortstop Yoan Moncada $31.5 million from the Red Sox. Given Hastings' lack of experience, it makes sense that rival agencies would try to steal Moncada right before his big payday. A source said that Hastings hired armed guards to keep such interlopers away, and Fangraphs reported that two agents working for Scott Boras were removed from a showcase workout in Guatemala. In a phone conversation on Monday night, however, Hastings disputed that reasoning and said the guards served a much more important purpose. "We had the armed guards not to protect him from the agents," Hastings said. "We had the armed guards to protect him from the people out there that would want to kidnap him and hold him for ransom. Or kill him. The process is dangerous for these Cuban players, because once you get them out of Cuba, legally or illegally, they are targets of other people out there that see them as like a diamond. And they want to take that diamond. It's worth money. The secrecy was to protect Yoan from that element, not from the agents." Hastings said he generally tried to keep Moncada's whereabouts a secret even in the U.S., out of an abundance of caution. "We've been careful ever since we got him out of Cuba to protect his whereabouts, and even when his whereabouts were known, to protect him at that point as well, whether it was here in the U.S. or Guatemala," he said.